Thursday, 18 August 2016

August Garden Round-Up

I am sure many gardeners will nod away in agreement when I say that 2016 has been a difficult gardening year.  For us, in Normandy, a mild winter was followed by a long cold spring (in fact we almost had no frosts until March and they continued through April) and then a summer that just took an age to get going.  This all meant a very late start to the growing season.  Usually by now I have been harvesting summer vegetables for weeks but this year I am only just reaching "glut time".  However I am not too worried and so long as we get a nice autumn with no early frosts (I have known them as early as September 28th) then with luck I will be OK - especially as some crops in the polytunnel are looking like being the best I have ever grown.

But first a few pictures from outside the polytunnel:

I lost my sweet peas when I was away on the UK in the Spring but my various types of climbing bean are almost making up for their loss in looks if, sadly, not in scent.

And soon their will be sunflowers for even more colour:

Back to the polytunnel now which really is fit to burst:

The late potatoes I planted in there after my outdoor ones got blight are looking healthy (fingers crossed):

My tomatoes may not be fully ripe yet but they are looking like they are going to give me a bumper crop.  Passata anyone?

 And with luck these brassicas and chard will give us crops through the winter. 

Oh and peppers - I could not finish without having a little trumpet blowing for my peppers.  Generally I can grow pretty good peppers so long as I buy plants rather than try to get them to germinate myself and this year they are ENORMOUS.  I guess they must really like the horse manure I dug into the polytunnel beds earlier in the year.

Do not think, though, for one moment that everything is doing well.  Outside, my onion crop was pathetic, I lost all of my carrots, beetroot, chard, swede and dwarf French beans in a sea of weeds and my parsnips, which I was carefully growing in loo rolls, fried in the polytunnel as we had a couple of hot days when I was away.   Thanks to a lovely friend coming for a weeding holiday (she lives in Barcelona and misses the green of Normandy!) the weeds are now back under control and I have sown various late seeds, hopeful that they'll come to something - Pak Choi, Various other Oriental leaves, spring onions, turnips (not quite the same as parsnips but hey ho) and spring cabbage.  I just need that lovely long Autumn now please.

So how is your veg garden doing?  What have been your successes and failures?

For more garden goodies do head over to Mammasuarus where the lovely Annie spoils us with her fabulous photos and runs the How Does Your Garden Grow linky.


  1. Glad to read you have a good harvest. sorry about the beetroots etc.

  2. Looks like you'll have a nice crop of tomatoes soon. I agree it's been a difficult growing year; everyone at our allotment says the same. Are those purple bean flowers? Our biggest problems have been slugs and garlic rust. The dampness also bought on onion rot but thankfully we managed to save most of our onions. The french and runner beans have done well though :)

  3. I wish I had your green fingers! It all looks amazing!

  4. I'm jealous no matter what! And yes passata please!

  5. Those tomatoes look amazing! I really need a greenhouse to grow them and peppers. My outdoor toms all got blight :( Potatoes have done ok, courgettes haven't really got going and borlotti beans looking good!

  6. the poly tunnel looks fab, i've returned home after 7 weeks and my garden is just dead

  7. Such a shame about the carrots, beetroots & parsnips but boy oh boy the polytunnel is kicking vegetable butt!
    I forgot just how full it gets - all those tomatoes! I love that you have a friend to come out to help you weed, saves your back a little at least :)
    How are the piggies getting on? x

  8. Ohh, I could do with someone who wants a weeding holiday!! Sorry to hear about the parsnips, our onions were bad too and covered in weeds but I too am hoping for a good september/october so the tomatoes can ripen, plus I've some borlotti and climbing beans that could probably do with the extra months too. Lovely bean flower shots too